a blog by Maureen Cohen

exoplanet scientist @ Uni of Edinburgh

  • Artist's impression of the James Webb Space Telescope. Courtesy of NASA.

    How do we know what’s in an exoplanet’s atmosphere?

    January 13, 2021 by

    A planet’s atmosphere contains different chemical elements. The Earth’s atmosphere, for example, consists of about 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 0.9% argon, and just 0.01% other gases like carbon dioxide, methane, and ozone. Earth’s atmosphere also contains varying amounts of water vapour in different regions and at different heights. That catch-all “other” category may be small,… Read more

  • Planet Profile: Proxima Centauri b

    January 6, 2021 by

    The closest star to our Sun is called Proxima Centauri. It was discovered over 100 years ago by the Scottish astronomer Robert Innes and is estimated to be only 4.25 lightyears away. Getting a feel for the kinds of distances we’re talking about in astronomy is difficult, so let’s use a mental yardstick to help.… Read more

  • Blog announcement: Change of focus

    January 5, 2021 by

    In September 2020, I started a PhD program in exoplanet science. I am studying possible climates of Earth-like planets in other solar systems. Although I’m still offering translation services, the focus of my website and blog will shift to science writing. I will be blogging about my research, but also about recent developments in exoplanet… Read more

  • A perfect profession for life-long learners

    April 15, 2020 by

    Translation and learning go together like peanut butter and jelly. Every text we translate has a subject matter–often specialised, obscure, or technical. To translate a document accurately, we must not only know rare words, but also understand the subject matter. This is why regular continuing professional development (CPD) and, if possible, specialising in a particular… Read more

  • Should I hire a freelancer or a translation agency?

    February 24, 2020 by

    It’s difficult to choose a language service provider or freelancer when you don’t know much about the translation process. Having worked both directly with clients and through agencies as intermediaries, I can offer some insight into what type of provider might be best for your project. It’s better to work with a freelancer if: –… Read more

  • The Fascination of the Nitty-Gritty

    January 10, 2020 by

    As I booked my tickets for the CIOL Conference 2020 this morning, my main object of interest was naturally the programme. Many of the events are about the business side of freelancing – digital marketing, specialising, business development, future trends, working with different types of clients. Only Michelle Deeter’s session on translating fiction vs. non-fiction… Read more

  • Deepfakes and German law

    January 3, 2020 by

    A couple months ago a friend sent me this entertaining fake clip of Richard Nixon reading an alternative speech – never given – announcing the deaths of the Moon landing astronauts. Naturally, it made me wonder how deepfakes will be handled in English/US law compared to German law when clips like these inevitably become more… Read more

  • Das Man / The They

    November 27, 2019 by

    The first few chapters of Sarah Bakewell’s excellent At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being & Apricot Cocktails dip into German phenomenology as context for her history of the existentialist philosophers. Phenomenology was an early 20th century German and French school of philosophy that sought to describe our subjective experience of the world – what is… Read more

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